Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to 11 years in prison

Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to more than 11 years behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila handed down the prison term to the disgraced Theranos founder in a San Jose, California, federal courthouse on Friday. A restitution hearing will be set for a later date.

The former Silicon Valley darling faced as much as 20 years in prison for duping investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars on false promises that she had developed technology that would revolutionize health care.

Holmes was convicted in January on three charges of wire fraud and one conspiracy charge after a jury found she criminally deceived investors over false claims that her company’s blood-testing technology could diagnose diseases with just a few drops of blood. 


She was originally indicted on 11 charges, acquitted of four, and the jury could not reach a verdict on the remaining three. 

Prosecutors had asked that Holmes serve 15 years behind bars for her crimes, calling the case “one of the most substantial white collar offenses Silicon Valley or any other District has seen.” A probation report had asked for 9 years.

Elizabeth Holmes

Beyond the harm Holmes did to Theranos’ investors, several factors weighed against Holmes in her sentencing, according to Andrew George, partner at Washington, D.C.-based law firm Baker Botts. He told FOX Business ahead of sentencing that Davila would likely aim to set a sentence high enough to serve as a deterrence in the high-profile case.


Prosecutors argued during the hearing Friday that Holmes should receive several sentencing enhancements, including more time served for her failure to accept responsibility for her crimes, her failure to cooperate with the government’s investigation, and the amount of loss involved.

Holmes’ defense team had requested she serve a maximum of 18 months, if any time at all, arguing that the case that gripped the nation ruined her reputation, saying she posed no threat to the public and noting that she had no prior criminal history.

Davila refused Holmes’ attorneys’ request for her sentence to be reduced because she had accepted responsibility for what happened at Theranos, noting that the former CEO still “maintains she did nothing wrong,” according to KTVU-TV.

elizabeth holmes sentencing

Holmes’ defense team pleaded for leniency from the judge, arguing that she is a daughter and a mother who would be able to do good in society moving forward. More than 130 individuals sent letters to the judge supporting her character, some with significant influence – including Senator Cory Booker.

Holmes addressed the court on Friday, crying while reiterating that she takes responsibility for what happened at Theranos – which she called “her life’s work” – and expressing remorse.

The judge determined that under federal guidelines, Holmes’ recommended sentence should fall between 11 and 14 years. Then, after hearing arguments from both sides, as well as a victim and the defendant, he made his final decision, calling the case “troubling on so many levels.”

Before her sentencing, Holmes made multiple failed attempts to have her conviction overturned. 

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